Sir: I write to say that I wholly endorse Major Bide's letter (24 August) and fully share his indignation and distress at the effective exclusion of the Indian Army contingent from the service and silence in front of Buckingham Palace in the VJ Day parade. I would add that Field Marshal Slim himself had transferred to the Indian Army in May 1919.
Your headline referred to "Asian heroes". It reminded me that, during the Second World War, the Indian Army won 41 Victoria Crosses, 19 of them in Burma, including nine posthumous awards. This total of 19 included five Indian Hindus, five Gurkhas, four Sikhs, three Muslims and two British officers.
I hope that when, in 1997, the 50th anniversary of the birth of the modern India and Pakistan is commemorated, proper place be given to the old Indian Army and suitable material produced for "our children and grandchildren". And, perhaps, meanwhile, attention might be drawn to the Memorial tablet in the North Aisle of St Paul's Cathedral.
J. A. P. Hall
25 AugustReuse content